20 November, Monday


"Erdogan becomes Turkish Putin" - Russian historian on the results of the referendum-Exclusive

Interviews

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Russian political scientist, candidate of historical sciences Oleg Kuznetsov answered Eurasia Diary's questions regarding the referendum held yesterday in Turkey. He spoke about the split in Turkish society and about the consequences of the new reform.

Recall, yesterday Turkey held a national referendum, according to which the majority of the population voted for the expansion of presidential powers. The amendments to the constitution will give President Erdogan unprecedented powers.

Eurasia Diary: Mr. Kuznetsov, why did the Turkish people support the reform?

Oleg Kuznetsov: Let's be honest, the preponderance of 52% of votes against 48% is almost minimal, so I would not say that the entire Turkish population supported Erdogan's innovations. we can name it the majority only when it is explicit  part of society, or as the lawyers say, "qualified" which is the two-thirds or three-quarters of the votes. If this was the case in a referendum of Turkey, then it would be possible to speak about the support of the majority. With such a vote, I cannot be so optimistic. It appears to be not an Erdogan's victory, but the split in Turkish society.

Absolutely all international analysts pay attention to the fact that the resident of Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir, ie, cities - millionaires, centers of concentration of capital and business, did not support the idea of ​​a final transition from a parliamentary republic to a presidential one. After the referendum, the confrontation between Erdogan and the elites will not only  weaken, but also intensify on the contrary. If, up to this point, Erdogan was opposed by the army and bureaucracy, devoted to the ideas of Gazi Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, now big business can stand in opposition to Erdogan, after which his political future will be under serious question.

Eurasia Diary: What is the position of the Russian side on such a reform?

Oleg Kuznetsov: The model of the state administration that Turkey chose for itself in the last referendum is no different from the form of government that exists today in Russia or in Azerbaijan. Therefore, it is understandable and familiar for the Russian political science community, at least for the part that does not earn a living by populism and commenting on events for the sake of political conjuncture. Based on the results of the referendum, Erdogan becomes a Turkish Putin with all the inherent mechanisms of "manual control" of the state by mechanisms and tools. Today we can only state one fact: the republic of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk became a part of past history.

Eurasia Diary: What will the reform actually change? How will the situation in the region and the relationship with the EU alter?

Oleg Kuznetsov: Any referendum has an impact, first of all, on internal political processes in the country, rather than its foreign policy. there are many states in the world with various forms of government, and this does not have the slightest influence on their position in the international arena. In general, I would not link state-legal and foreign policy aspects. Usually, any state in its foreign policy demonstrates the coordinated will of the ruling elites, and the referendum in Turkey has so far led to a split in society. It will take time for the upper layers of society to regain consensus in a new configuration for itself, and until that happens, it will be extremely reckless to talk about any specific impact of the results of the referendum in Turkey on the foreign policy of this country.


Interviewed by Natalya Guliyeva

 

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